Fantasy iTunes Week 8-17-09 MVP – Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”

I usually rely on younger talent for my Fantasy iTunes rosters, but there are certain veterans that just don’t miss. 50 years ago from this Monday, August 17, Miles Davis’ seminal album Kind of Blue hit record shelves. This is the best-selling jazz album of all time – and you don’t have to be an aficionado of the genre to appreciate that. Here’s an excerpt from an article about the construction of jazz’s definitive album:

So Kind of Blue sounded different from the jazz that came before it. But what made it so great? The answer here is simple: the musicians. Throughout his career, certainly through the 1950s and ’60s, Miles Davis was an instinctively brilliant recruiter; a large percentage of his sidemen went on to be great leaders, and these sidemen—especially Evans, Coltrane, and Adderley—were among his greatest. They came to the date, were handed music that allowed them unprecedented freedom (to sing their “own song,” as Russell put it), and they lived up to the challenge, usually on the first take; they had a lot of their own song to sing.

So Kind of Blue sounded different from the jazz that came before it. But what made it so great? The answer here is simple: the musicians. Throughout his career, certainly through the 1950s and ’60s, Miles Davis was an instinctively brilliant recruiter; a large percentage of his sidemen went on to be great leaders, and these sidemen—especially Evans, Coltrane, and Adderley—were among his greatest. They came to the date, were handed music that allowed them unprecedented freedom (to sing their “own song,” as Russell put it), and they lived up to the challenge, usually on the first take; they had a lot of their own song to sing.

…Kind of Blue is a one-shot deal, so dreamily perfect you can hardly believe someone created it. Which is why it remains so deeply satisfying, on whatever level you experience it, as moody background music or as the center of your existence. Listen to it 100 times or so, and you still marvel at its spontaneous inventions; now and then, you’ll even hear something new.

For the rest of the article on Slate, CLICK HERE.
For the other starters of this week’s Fantasy iTunes roster, CLICK HERE.
P.S.: smh @ me posting this before jazz head Cliff Skighwalker did. Ha!